Thong n Dance is Now on the Internet

Front cover of the HI-ATUS album, available on CD, from The Swingin' Hi-Tones. Released in 2013 this album refreshed old Hi-Tones classics and showcased several new tunes from the Hi-Tones.

Clarification for the Faint Hearted

It needs to be stated that, in Australia, a thong is what's known as a flip flop in the USA. You know, an open, casual piece of apparel often kept in the cupboard until the summer months.

First there was the Beat, and the Beat was Strong

Taxi Reunion, Hamilton 2013. Photo by Julie Knights.

Long ago I used to play in bands. Old rock standards and newer pop songs of the day filled our repertoire. Of the numerous bands I played in, two stand out in my memory. Taxi, my very first band and the one I stayed in the longest, retains my fondest memories. It included several of my very best friends, one of whom, Tony 'Bert' Lambert, I've known since we were four or five years old.

We've started to get together again, every now and then, over recent years. We do so, mostly, to re-live past glories and, together with lead singer/guitarist/sex symbol Rod Knights and original drummer Darryl Smith to dust off the axes and skins and jump around together again. My best friend, Darren 'Cutts' Cuttler, was the bands original lighting technician.

The Swingin' Hi-Tones

The other was the Swingin' Hi-Tones. We billed ourselves as Australia's Premier Inland Surf band. Frankly, we got nervous too close to the beach. I was only with those guys for six months. But it was a busy and creative period in which we played gigs, including one in the big smoke (i.e., Melbourne), and recorded an album (originally released, as a limited edition, on cassette tape). That's the front cover below, with me on the right of the picture.

Front cover photo from The Fabulous Surfin' Sound of The Swingin' Hi-Tones cassette available on the Thong n' Dance label.

The Hi-Tones were formed by Ken Allen and Ray Wilson. Our drummer was the ever reliable David Hodkinson. These guys were both high school teachers and, being a few years older than me, seemed positively ancient back then. You know how it is when you're young: a five year gap can seem like forever.

Anyway both Ken and Ray have had other groups and musical projects over the years, all of which are represented by the Thong n Dance label.

The label is a project of Ken's and I was happy to collaborate with both Ken and Ray (who's responsible for making the bands videos) on a new website, which I've put together for my friends. It's a great way to remember and share our great times together. It's also shaping up as a solid base from which new Hi-Tones projects can be launched.

Everything that's Old is New Again

Unlike the Beatles, the Hi-Tones never really broke up. That's right, just one more difference between the two bands. And it's amazing that, after a thirty year 'Hi-atus', the band has played and recorded again during the last twelve months. And a new piece of vinyl is on the way. It should be available later this year.

Feel free to check out the new Thong n Dance site. It features blurb on all the bands in the Thong n Dance stable, and includes a couple classic videos from the Swingin' Hi-Tones.

It's a great thing to live a creative, purpose-driven and meaning-rich life. My dear old mum was my first great love. Music and photography followed. It's just great being involved in music once again. It's just a hobby and a very occasional pursuit, but it's fun and brings joy into the lives of others. And, after all, isn't that what matters most.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru